Cedar County earns Certified Work Ready status

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Cedar County earns Certified Work Ready status

EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo.— The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) today announced Cedar County has achieved official designation as a Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC). The initiative helps communities validate the skills and knowledge of their emerging, transitioning and current workforce to the business community.

“By becoming a Certified Work Ready Community, Cedar County will be able to validate the quality of its workforce to the current business community as well as to prospective companies looking for a place to grow. With 39 counties now certified, Missouri is becoming more globally competitive. As these numbers grow, we will have the upper hand when putting our name in the hat for major expansion and attraction projects that would result in job creation in our state,” said Acting DED Director Mike Downing. 

"The recognition associated with being a Certified Work Ready Community demonstrates Cedar County’s commitment to not only economic growth and development but also the future of our youth and their ability to prepare for opportunities in the workforce. As other counties in our area gain certification, we are becoming a work ready region," said Cedar County Presiding Commissioner Marlon Collins. 

Cedar County Memorial Hospital

By leveraging the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and achieving CWRC status, Missouri communities demonstrate they have the necessary partnerships in place to attract, develop and retain a workforce, with the education and fundamental skills to succeed in the 21st Century. In order to be considered for the designation, communities must obtain the support from a determined number of businesses in the community and the workforce must earn a certain number of certificates. To date, Cedar County’s workforce earned 227 certificates and 25 area businesses signed letters of support for the initiative.

"In addition to being an economic tool to attract new businesses, Work Ready Certification benefits individual participants and existing businesses in our community," said Cedar County Economic Developer Marge Vance. "Individuals who earn a NCRC can differentiate themselves from other applicants when applying for a job. By having a meaningful way to match skills with job requirements, employers who are hiring can reduce the cost associated with lost productivity caused by high employee turnover."

The ceremony was held at the Cedar County Memorial Hospital. Local supporting employers include the hospital, Community Springs Health Care Facility, Hammons Products, Dunbrooke Apparel, Fugate Motors and more.

In 2012, Missouri was selected to be one of the first four states to participate in the CWRC initiative, and in 2013, Jasper County became the first CWRC in the nation. Missouri now has 84 counties that are actively participating in the CWRC initiative and 39 fully-certified counties. New certifications are considered on a quarterly basis.

CWRC status makes communities more attractive to businesses because it offers a feedback loop for what’s needed by different players in the dynamic 21st Century workforce. Specifically, benefits from CWRC certification include:

  • Workers better understand what skills are required by employers and how to prepare themselves for success.
  • Businesses can more effectively communicate their workforce needs to area education and workforce training programs.
  • Educators have better tools for closing any skill gaps by establishing career pathways for students with stackable industry-recognized credentials.
  • Economic development organizations are better equipped with an on-demand reporting tool to promote the quality of their workforce.

For more information about CWRC and how to apply for certification, visit https://ded.mo.gov/getcertified.

Help us spread the news through Facebook and Twitter! If you’re looking for a great place to visit, live, get an education, or start a business, you can find resources and information at mo.gov or ded.mo.gov.

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